It's not uncommon for a misplaced car jack to do serious damage. In this article we discuss some of the different car jacks available, how they function and the importance of proper placement. Remember that improper use of a car jack can be extremely dangerous, so take your Mercedes maintenance needs to CK Auto if you're aren't sure of what you need and how to properly use the equipment.
ARE ALL CAR JACKS THE SAME?
There are a great many different types of jacks that you may be tempted to use on your Mercedes. Here are examples of some of the jacks out there – note that NOT all these will be compatible with your Benz. The point is to show you the wide variety out there, and that it's important to choose the correct one.
Scissor Jacks (aka Jackscrew): Scissor jacks are named as such due to the mechanical action used to “screw in” the sides of the jack toward the middle, thereby raising the jack and anything on top of it. We included a link to an Amazon product of this type.
Fast Lift Floor Jacks (hydraulic): Fast lift floor jacks are common in auto repair shops due to the speed at which they can raise a vehicle. These jacks are impractical for daily drivers to carry around because they are large and quite heavy, but they're great for shops because they have wheels beneath them. The mechanism of operation is an arm that gets pumped downward thereby sucking oil out of a reservoir and into the lift chamber. This movement increases the pressure in the lift chamber, thereby making it move upward. We included a link to an Amazon product of this type.
Bottle Jacks (hydraulic): Bottle jacks also operate via hydraulics, but the shape of the device resembles a bottle. The bottle jack has a lift rod which acts as a piston. We included a link to an Amazon product of this type.
Hi-Lift Jacks (aka High Lift or Farm Jack): Hi-lift jacks, also known as farm jacks, are designed to raise vehicles with tires much taller than typical commuter vehicles. These jacks are often used on farm vehicles such as tractors and on lifted, off-road personal vehicles. They function through manual pumping and ratcheting. We included a link to an Amazon product of this type.
WHICH MERCEDES BENZ CAR JACK IS RIGHT FOR MY MODEL?
The sticky truth of the matter is that there is probably more than one jack that will work on your Benz, but there are also many jacks that will not work on your particular model. The following video helps to illustrate this point.
Some Mercedes models, such as the E430, have compartments on the SIDES of the vehicle that pop out allowing the user to apply a special floor jack. If an untrained user were to apply a standard scissor jack beneath the E430 in the wrong spot, the user may damage the vehicle by applying upward pressure against a surface that has not been reinforced.
Here is a different example that puts the C230 K Compressor under the spotlight. In this case, the video describes yet another style of floor jack and where to place it. Here, too, it’s critical that the jack gets placed underneath the reinforced U-plates.
As you can see, there are many styles of car jacks out there. More than one variety can likely be used to jack up your Benz, but not every variety.
If you're unsure of which jack you need, where you need to place it, how to use wheel chalks and how to use jack stands, we highly recommend that you trust our skilled Mercedes mechanics with your vehicle service or repair.
Improper use of a car jack isn't just dangerous for your vehicle; it's also dangerous for you!
Give us a call to schedule your next appointment!